Three different forms of representations

We have looked at, read about, discussed, and “read” three different forms of representations, types of images, or texts so far this semester including paintings, photographs, and comics (in its various forms including graphic novels, graphic journalism, etc.). We have also talked about the strengths and weaknesses of each of these modes, or forms of representation, in representing reality, in telling us something about history, in enabling escape, in facilitating the sharing of ideas and/or feelings, in prompting questioning, in challenging our assumptions, and in pushing us to look more closely at while enabling us to see the world from perspectives other than our own.

We have looked at the differences among these texts or mediums in their ability to do these things and the impact they have had on our world and concluded that their very development suggests man’s need (and woman’s, too!) to share his thinking and to make sense or meaning of his world through the creation of and consumption of texts and images. In fact, Kenneth Burke, philosopher and theorist, posited what makes us human is that we are “the symbol using, making, and mis-using animal, …”

Each of these mediums or forms of representation might be said to offer us in John Berger’s words a “way of seeing” and Rocco Versaci points out that

Despite the great diversity among the many texts that surround our lives, they nevertheless have a common thread:
however beautifully or ineptly or movingly or lifelessly conveyed,these works are someone’s interpretation of how the world in
which we live either is or was or should be or might be or might have been.

Finally, the great philosopher of communication, Marshall McLuhan, famous for theorizing that “the medium is the message,” made the argument that the medium a person chooses to deliver his or her message is as important in conveying meaning as is the actual content of the message itself.

Choose the medium at which you wish to take a closer look. You might choose the one you enjoy most and for which you wish to make an argument that it is the most important or the most significant or the most accessible medium and should be preserved and expanded. Imagine you are making an argument for this medium being the one that should be taught in school, preserved, or somehow promoted as the most influential medium. Tell us why this medium matters, what it offers us as a culture or a society, how it works, what makes it significant, and why we should take it seriously, etc.

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